Sarah Shefer 10/6/1926 – 07/31/2019 (Age 92)

Sarah Shefer lost her battle to recover from a stroke on July 31, 2019, two months before her 93rd birthday. Sarah was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, to Rachel and Alexander Porath. She attended Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she majored in chemistry. After her graduation, she served as an officer in the scientific corps in the war of independence of Israel (1948-1949). During the war, Sarah met Joshua Shefer. Joshua and Sarah married in the autumn of 1950. In the early 1950s, Sarah and Joshua went to London, where they both completed PhD degrees, she in Biochemistry and he in Electrical Engineering.  Shortly after returning to Israel, Joshua accepted an assignment in the Diplomatic Service and they returned to London in the late 1950’s.  In order to pursue post-graduate studies, the family moved to Boston in April of 1960. In the mid 1960’s, the family moved to New Jersey to pursue professional opportunities.

Sarah began her career as a biochemist at the New York Public Health Research Institute. In 1979, Sarah joined the faculty of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. There she worked on original research in biochemistry—in addition to mentoring graduate students—until her retirement in 2003.

Sarah’s immediate family includes Joshua, her beloved husband for 70 wonderful years; her loving children, Ruth (Earl), David and Abigail (Donald); her devoted grandchildren, Alex (Carolina), Michael (Roxanne), Jordan, and Megan; and her brother, Nachum (Ruth), who lives in Israel.  She greatly enjoyed spending time with her family and friends—whether that meant cruising over numerous oceans, enjoying their second home in the US Virgin Islands, helping her grandchildren with homework, or conquering the New York Times crossword puzzles. A voracious reader of newspapers and mysteries, Sarah loved to discuss world affairs and share stories of her countless adventures abroad.

On Sunday, August 4th, there will be a graveside service at Sharon Memorial Park at 10:45 am. Family and friends are invited to Joshua’s home (1 Huntington Ave, apt 1503, Boston) for a light lunch starting at 1:00 pm.

Contributions in Sarah’s memory may be made to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, MA (

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